Internet use among Latino adults rose by 10 percentage points, from 54 percent to 64 percent according to The Pew Research Center's Hispanic Project and Internet Project. Latinos online usage are surpassing the rate for black adults and closing the gap with whites.
The results were based upon landline telephone surveys and didn't include cell-only households which have seen a rapid increase in cell-only populations.
In 2006, 15% of Latinos lived in cell-only households, and in 2008, this number was 25%. For African Americans, 13% lived in cell-only households in 2006 compared with 21% in 2008. Among whites, the share of residents in cell-only households increased from 11% in 2006 to 17% in 2008 (Blumberg and Luke 2009).
Some of the key findings include:
For Latinos, the increase in internet use has been fueled in large part by increases in internet use among groups that have typically had very low rates of internet use.
While U.S.-born Latinos experienced a two percentage point increase in internet use from 75% in 2006 to 77% in 2008, foreign-born Latinos experienced a 12 percentage point increase during the same period, from 40% to 52%.
Younger Latinos were more likely to use the internet than older Latinos.
Among Latinos ages 18 to 34, 77% used the internet; among those ages 35 to 49, 65% used the internet; among those ages 50 to 64, 53% used the internet, and among Latinos ages 65 and older, one-quarter used the internet.
In 2006, 31% of Latinos lacking a high school degree reported ever going online; in 2008, this number was 41%. In comparison, Latinos with higher levels of education experienced three to four percentage point increases in internet use.
Internet use among Latinos residing in households with annual incomes less than $30,000 increased 17 percentage points from 2006 to 2008. For Latinos in households earning $30,000 to $49,999 annually, internet use increased two percentage points, and for Latinos in households earning $50,000 or more annually, there was no change in internet use.
Among Latinos, English-reading ability was linked with internet use--81% of Latinos who read English very well were online, as compared with 63% of Latinos who read pretty well, 52% of Latinos who couldn't read English well, and 24% of Latinos who couldn't read English at all.
The exclusion of cell-phone only households may have underestimated increases in internet use, especially for Latinos and African Americans. Overall, Latinos are going digital and are getting connected.
According to ComScore, Latinos using the internet like to visit Community (18%) and Entertainment sites, such as Radio (13 percent) Gaming (13 percent), Multimedia (12 percent), Discussion/Chat, Instant Messengers (11 percent) and Music (11 percent).